With Finn Kelly.
Finn Kelly is Wealth Enhancers cofounder and Chief Investment Officer. He is a money expert, sought out keynote speaker and tv business personality. Finn’s purpose and passion for life has driven him to build businesses that are game-changing, and focused on helping individuals and businesses determine their values framework and have a positive impact on the world.
He has been recognised as one of Australia’s leading young entrepreneurs in business and the finance industry, being the recipient of multiple awards including the AIM National Young Manager of the Year and the prestigious Money Management Fund Manager of the Year award. He has also been recognised as one of Australia’s top 30 entrepreneurs under 30 three times.
Buying a home, while once a major stepping stone to adulthood, can seem like an out-of-reach goal for most millennials, especially with constant headlines portraying the generation as stunted, afraid of commitment, and one that’s investing their money in frivolous purchases like avocado toast. According to a 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, millennials bought more houses than any other generation for the fifth year in a row. If they are willing and able to invest in the housing market, why wouldn’t they be interested in building a diverse portfolio?
According to one of Australia’s leading wealth experts, Finn Kelly, the financial advisory industry tends to be geared toward older generations that already have built up wealth, ignoring Gen Y and younger clients. To fill the void, he began offering a flat-fee model to provide strategic financial advice and planning to ambitious millennials in the form of Wealth Enhancers. The model at WE is built on personal goals and values and includes everything from financial coaching to investment management to debt reduction. The company don’t offer a too-good-to-betrue promise of overnight success, but instead believe in a series of conscious actions and behaviors to help members achieve financial freedom.
We wanted to pick Finn’s brain about millennials and property buying, the various types of investments they can make, and how to start.
Millennials are different than previous generations in many ways, but how are they different in terms of real estate and investment behaviors?
According to Finn, millennials question if the traditional path to owning a home is right for them, so they have a different approach to property compared to previous generations. High property prices compared to income is a major barrier for first time investors, but Finn thinks there’s another reason millennials are skeptical. “Their desire to live a lifestyle that enables the flexibility to travel and change job locations is making renting where they want to live more suitable and buying in locations where a good investment opportunity arises,” he says.
Instead of buying a home during a major milestone, like marriage, and staying put for 20-30 years like previous generations, millennials are gravitating toward the flexibility of rentals and entry-homes, anticipating future moves and investment opportunities.
Every investment has its pros and cons.
Property is one of the major investment classes, and there are a number of ways to invest into it. Two main property types are residential (where people live) and commercial (occupied by business). Each can be accessed by buying completely or investing in ETFs (exchange-traded funds) that replace the index of a property market. Finn explained the pros and cons of each type of investment option.
• You have control
• You can borrow a large amount of funds.
• Larger exposure to asset class
• Little diversification
• Large transactional costs
• Increased risk of large loss
• Can gain exposure to property with less capital
• Increased diversification
• Management by professionals
• Less control
• Higher ongoing fees
• No ability to add value via renovation or development
Where do you start?
According to Finn, the first step people should take when they begin investing is to investigate and “understand who they are and what kind of life they want to live.” He explains “identifying values and then setting intentions and goals to match will help determine what the next steps should be.” Investment is a tool to enable this, and different goals will warrant different types of investment, but he stresses that “where people go wrong with investing is when they are too focused on the investment, instead of what they want to achieve through the investment.”
A characteristic that makes millennials unique compared to past generations is their saving and investment habits. Their goals are different. Retirement isn’t the top priority; it’s been replaced by working to pay off student loan debt. In the same breath, millennials are aiming to retire earlier than previous generations and beginning to save earlier (around age 24 as opposed to Boomers who began saving at around 35.)
Socially responsible investing is becoming more important to this group of investors. Morgan Stanley reported that 86 percent of millennial investors are somewhat interested in sustainable investing, compared to 75 percent of the entire population. They care about where their money is going and what it’s doing, and they are more likely to invest in companies targeting social or environmental goals. According to Morgan Stanley, 90 percent of millennials want to see sustainable options in their superannuation.
Previous generations were satisfied establishing their roots and staying where they were planted, however, millennials strive for flexibility. A diverse financial portfolio consisting of multiple streams of passive income is appealing, because it gives millennials a sense of freedom and options.
Figure out the kind of life you wish to live, set some goals, and possibly find a financial counselor to help point you in the right direction.
What’s the purpose of a financial advisor, like Wealth Enhancers?
Growing up amid the Global Financial Crisis has left many millennials skeptical of stock market institutions and investment products. If they decide to hire an advisor, they want to be assured they’re hiring an educator working in their favor, not a salesperson pitching a sale. Credentials and knowledge isn’t enough for an advisor when dealing with this set of investors; they need to focus on transparency in pricing and intention.
So what exactly does a financial advisor do? A good financial advisor will help you organize your finances, projects, and the results of your investments. They’ll help you make financial decisions and help you reach your financial goals as efficiently as possible. Firms are aware of the fear many millennials have regarding financial advisory teams, which is why companies like Wealth Enhancers focus on you. Their membership models are built around your personal goals and values, are transparent from the get-go and focus on every type of investment from cash flow management to property investment to debt reduction.
Caution should be used when selecting any advisor, so be sure to check the services and performance history prior to working with a financial advisor. Good financial advisors will help you to design your ideal life, show you how to achieve it, and keep you accountable. “These types of companies go on your journey instead of taking you on their journey,” says Finn.
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